How to Play the Irish Lottery

To play the Irish Lottery, players must choose 6 numbers from the balls 1 to 45 inclusive and to win the jackpot they must match all six. Smaller division prizes are offered for matching from three numbers upwards on the draw and prizes increase the more numbers matched.

If players do not wish to choose their own Irish Lottery Numbers then they can select the quick pick option, allowing the lottery terminal to select six random numbers.

During the draw, six numbered balls of between 1 and 45 are drawn and then a seventh ball, the bonus ball is also drawn to create a new tier of lottery prizes. The Irish Lottery plays twice weekly, every Wednesday and Saturday evening and tickets for the lottery cost €1.50 each but must be bought in groups of two.

The legal age to play the Irish Lottery within Ireland is 18. All lottery prizes must be claimed within 90 days or they go into the fund for good causes and all lottery winnings and jackpots from the Irish Lottery are paid as a tax-free amount.

Here's a rundown of the Irish Lottery prize structure, odds of winning and prizes:

Numbers Matched Prize Odds
First 6 numbers Jackpot 1 in 8,145,060
5 of the first 6 balls + bonus ball €25,000 1 in 1,357,510
5 of the first 6 balls "Match 5" prize for that week 1 in 35,724
4 of the first 6 balls + bonus ball "Match 4" + bonus prize 1 in 14,290
4 of the first 6 balls "Match 4" prize for that week 1 in 772
3 of the first six balls + bonus ball "Match 3" + bonus prize 1 in 579
3 of the first 6 balls "Match 3" prize of €5 1 in 48

If more than one players match all six main balls in the Irish Lottery draw then the jackpot is shared between the winning players. In the event of a jackpot not being won in the Irish Lottery then the jackpot total rolls over to the following week. It’s because of this that there is no ceiling to the amount that can be won on an Irish Lottery jackpot. The jackpot on the Irish Lottery grows bigger every time lottery tickets are purchased and with jackpots rolling over too, this can push ticket sales for big lottery jackpots making them climb even higher.

On top of the main Lotto game, players can also opt to take part in the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 draws for a small additional fee. These draws take place alongside the Lotto draw each Wednesday and Saturday and offer players two additional Jackpots to play for as well as a range of smaller prizes.

Did you know the Irish Lottery wasn't always a pick 6 from 45 draw? You can read a bit more about the history of the main lotto game here.